More than two-thirds of the fleet is U.S. registered, according to Amstat data. NetJets is the largest fleet operator with 44 aircraft in fractional ownership service or under management for third-party owners. CitationAir, 's jet card and air charter subsidiary, remains the second largest operator with seven aircraft.
LJ Aviation in Latrobe, Pa., manages and/or charters four aircraft. Corporate fleet operators include Parker-Hannifin with three Sovereigns that replaced the firm's fleet of45s, Henry Crown & Co. with four aircraft and Schweitzer Engineering and Performance Contractors, each with three aircraft. and Hubbard Broadcasting have mixed fleets that include Sovereigns.
Two each are operated by Principal Financial Group, Green Bay Packaging and Helix Electric, plus J. M. Smucker, Darden Restaurants and Regions Financial. Single corporate aircraft operators include Bass Pro, Belden, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina and Silver Oak Cellars, along with Entergy, Whelen Engineering and Owens Corning. Notably, the Sovereign has found a home with several large American automobile dealers.
Outside the U.S., there are a dozen Sovereigns registered in Canada, operated by firms such as Canada Pacific Railway, Execaire, Cenovus Energy and Redhead Equipment. Eight are registered in Mexico, mostly flown by air charter operators.
Brazil is home to 20 aircraft, mainly based in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. They're operated by firms such as financial services companies, air taxi service providers and agricultural producers. The next largest block is in Germany with nine used for air charter and corporate transportation. Six are registered in the Isle of Man, mainly by operators based in U.K. Four are registered in U.K., but three of them were for sale.
Czech charter operator Travel Service has three Sovereigns based in Prague, Cartier Europe flies two that are registered in the Netherlands and three more are registered in Austria.
In the Middle East, there are eight aircraft based in Turkey and eight in Egypt, including five registered to air charter operator Smart Aviation and two with the Egyptian Air Force. One is operated by Arab Wings, a large air charter operator based in Amman, Jordan. Five aircraft are registered in China, including three operated as flight inspection aircraft. There also are three based in Australia, plus others in Malaysia. Four are based in South Africa and one is registered in Morocco. We could find none registered in India.
Operators say they carry four to five passengers, on average, and a typical mission is 500- to 600-nm long. They're comfortable flying the aircraft 2,600 to 2,800 nm, so they typically plan non-stop eastbound missions between the U.S. coasts and make one refueling stop westbound. While the aircraft has nearly 7 hr. of endurance, ATC climb and descent constraints and less than optimum routing can reduce range to 6 hr. or 2,400 nm equivalent still air distance.
Plan on burning 2,200 lb. the first hour, 1,800 lb. the second hour and 1,600 lb. during the third and subsequent hours and you'll land fat on fuel, they say.
Most corporate operators we contacted for this report say they fly the aircraft 350- to 400-hr. per year. Aircraft used by high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs typically have lower utilization. Fractional ownership and air charter aircraft may be used as much as 1,200 hr. per year.